I bought some not too long ago. Got them for two crashes, ride, and hi-hats. I didn't see what the big deal was with the crashes and ride, but I absolutely hated them on the hi-hats. Way too stiff and dead sounding for hats, IMO.
Not even worth it for the crash and ride, again IMO.
I tried these on several ride cymbals and found very little, if any difference except for the fact that they kill the bell.
That's not to say they won't work for your specific application.
Mine are sitting on the shelf somewhere waiting for me to find another use for them.
Having tried these for a while, I'm switching back to my old felts. Perhaps I was being overly optimistic in reading "optimization" as "allowing all those wild overtones in your K's and K Customs to shine to their fullest potential." In practice, they seem to bring out more of the clangy midrange, which is not exactly "optimal" to my ears.
Also, the 40/18mm Ride optimizer sits the cymbal up above the edge of the sleeve on DW's integrated seat/stem apparatus. To avoid metal on metal contact, I found it necessary to trim a couple of millimeters of premium grade cellular foam off the bottom. Seems like a bit of a design problem.
I have not, but the idea of use neoprene (same stuff as mouse pads and/or wet-suits) as cymbal felts is interesting to me. Does anyone know where one can find a hole puncher that would punch a hole the size of a cymbal stand washer? The outside can be done with scissors.
I just bought a pack of red colored ones, they made not optimizer or anything, imthink they are just to put some colors on top!of your cymbals, I was trying to remove some nasty lower "boing\hum" on 5 cymbalas that were all on the same rack... Thanking of sympathetic resonance between the china!s and the stand...they didn't remove any tones and that was fine, I wanted my cymbals to sound the same...they did remove just a bit of the hum, maybe 10%, but to do that and to really have my cymbals having a crazy better sound and longer sustain and NO HUM AT ALL in the rack, I had to invest in 5 CRS, Cymbale Resonance System...they are made in Norway, not cheap 75$ I think, Canadian dollars so cheaper in US$ ... One member on this forum made me aware of that and it's really awesome...I had left the Cympads though as it was a 10% of improvement but again, I have the chromatics ones, not at all the ones that are supposed to be magical...
After having some time to use them long term, I do not recommend them.
First, if you leave your cymbals on the stands, the Cympads get deformed. If you tilt your cymbals towards you (must of us do), one side of the Cympad will be much more compressed/deformed than the other, making it lean only one way. After I took my cymbal off the stand, it took literally WEEKS for the Cympad to return to it's normal shape, and even then it looked a little bit wonky. Even on my ride, which I keep low and level, the Cympad was deformed where the heavier part of the cymbal was resting. Again, it took weeks to return to (somewhat) normal. The heavier the cymbal, the more noticeable this problem is.
One other thing I don't like is it restricts/inhibits the cymbals movement. I don't use top felts, so my cymbals swing and move naturally. With a normal felt, my crash cymbals swing back and forth about 4 times before stopping on their own. With the Cympad, they only swung back and forth once. It was as if an invisible wing nut was restricting the cymbals movement. It was odd to get used to and I didn't get used to it!
Also, the feel of the cymbal is different with a Cympad. When I would crash the cymbal with the Cympad, I felt more of a "disconnect" if that makes sense. It had a similar feeling of the cymbal being on one of those old school cymbal springs. It just felt stiffer to play and not as satisfying. It's hard to explain, but you would notice if you tried them.
Lastly, I have noticed that the "Chromatics" (the colored Cympads) are much stiffer than the normal Cympads, which magnifies the things I didn't like above.
I do have three positives things to say about them. The regular, standard Cympads come as a 15mm thick pad as the default model (which I decidedly DON'T like). However, hey also make them in two thinner sizes, 12mm thickness and 8 mm thickness. I do like the thinner models better because they feel much more like normal felts. The 8mm model really fits the bill on some older/vintage stands where there isn't a lot of thread to work with, so the thinner pads help with that. Also, these work very nicely under the "Low Volume" or "Quiet Tone" cymbals. They inhibit the movement and make them a tiny bit quieter. I use them in my lesson studio which has two low volume cymbals and they work great for that purpose. Lastly, I do like the hi Hat Cympads. They are stiff enough to keep the top cymbal for leaning too much or collapsing the top felt that can happen if the felt is too thin or soft. The Cympad Cymbal Seat for the bottom hi hat works well. More support than a traditional felt pad, but doesn't kill the resonance like those Gibraltar or Pearl rubber washers with the three "fingers" do. BTW, I used to swear by those rubber seats with the "fingers"....until I compared the resonance of the bottom cymbal compared to a traditional felt or the Cymbpad seat. Those rubber pads kill the resonance and make it sound like you have tape on the bottom cymbal. I was surprised and stopped using them.
Overall, I'm not a fan. They are cheap enough that you can try them out for yourself, though. Try the hi hat sets and the thinner models, as well.
I made some myself out of a mouse pad. I use it in the same situation I use donuts on my drums. For quiet situations it helps to tame the ride cymbals so that it’s not too invading. For the crash, just a small one to stop the sound a bit sooner. It’s a soft way to dampen my otherwise powerful AA.